The American Health Quality Association (AHQA) represents quality improvement organizations (QIOs), which work under the direction of the U.S. government’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to improve the quality and efficiency of services delivered to Medicare beneficiaries in hospitals, nursing homes, and other long-term-care facilities. Last year, CMS cut funding to QIOs by 70 percent, which has significantly hampered their capacity to respond to COVID-19 — even as the epidemic has disproportionately affected Medicare beneficiaries.
With this in mind, AHQA drafted a proposal to secure funding that will return QIOs to full strength in all 50 states and submitted it to multiple federal agencies — all within 48 hours. Assuming this proposal is accepted and implemented, QIOs immediately will resume their critical work in healthcare sites across the country, identifying areas that are at risk for the spread of infection, helping plan for staffing shortages, and much more.
“It’s incredibly important that the facilities and providers that are caring for those most vulnerable have the support that they need,” said MCI USA talent Alison Teitelbaum, MS, MPH, CAE, who serves as AHQA’s executive director. “The QIOs are a national infrastructure that are able to help identify and problem-solve to overcome these challenges, and that frees up the providers to be able to focus on care. It also helps to improve the state of care and overall quality of the facility at the same time.”